Palm Sunday: Jesus’ Triumphal Entry to Jerusalem
Palm Sunday is the Christian holiday that occurs on the Sunday before Easter. This celebration commemorates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, mentioned in each of the four Gospels. Jesus entered the city knowing He would be tried and crucified and welcomed His fate to rise from the grave and save us from sin! Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, the remembrance of Jesus’ last days to the cross.
In many churches, Palm Sunday is observed by the blessing and sharing of palm branches symbolizing the branches placed in front of Christ as he entered Jerusalem.
Let us praise God for sending His Son to earth, the sacrifice Jesus made for our sins, and our eternal life in Christ through faith.
Read the full Bible passage of Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem and learn the history, tradition, and modern customs of Palm Sunday.
Palm Sunday in the Bible
Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King – The Triumphal Entry
Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethpage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.”
This took place to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet, saying, “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.'” The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.
And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.” – Matthew 21:1-11
The Old Testament prophecies of Palm Sunday in Zechariah 9:9 – “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
Palm Sunday Scriptures including the retold accounts in the gospels of Mark, Luke, and John.
Palm Sunday in 2022
This year, Palm Sunday will be on April 10, 2022. This begins Holy Week which leads up to Easter on April 17th, 2022.
More about the dates and meaning of Holy Week: When Is Holy Week in 2022? Holiday Dates for Easter.
Palm Sunday Celebration and Traditions in Church History
Palm Sunday began in the Jerusalem Church approximately the late third century. Observances consisted of hymns, prayers, and Bible readings as people travelled through the many holy places within the city. At the final place, the site of Jesus’ ascent into heaven, the ministry would recite the biblical passage of Jesus’ victorious entrance into Jerusalem. Then as dusk neared, the people would return to the city declaring: “Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord” (Matthew 21:9).
This tradition continued until the sixth and seventh centuries when the ceremonial blessing of the palms was included. By the eighth century, a morning procession substituted the evening one and the Western Church was celebrating what we now know as “Palm Sunday.”
Meaning of Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter that begins the Holy Week. It is the day that we remember and celebrate the day Jesus entered Jerusalem as Saviour and King. As Jesus rode a donkey into the town of Jerusalem a large crowd gathered and laid palm branches and their cloaks across the road, giving Jesus royal treatment. The hundreds of people shouted “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
“On the heels of Palm Sunday, as we begin this Holy Week, may we constantly be reminded of its significance and value for our lives today. That very important day in history, when Jesus began His journey towards the cross.
Yet maybe during busy lives, on the heels of Spring Break, or in all the upcoming thoughts about Easter, the real meaning of it may, even unintentionally, get missed. His Word reveals such great truths in every part of this story. Truths that draw us closer towards Christ, reminding us that He alone is King.”